Ultimately, success in this course will require more than rote memorizing of bold-faced words. It will require reading and re-reading, writing and re-writing, watching and re-watching videos, summarizing, creating, synthesizing, applying and evaluating your knowledge of psychological science.
In addition to general areas of psychology, I've spent additional time studying/researching/presenting cognition, lifespan development, statistics and research methods. I moved away from teaching at a university because I wanted to spend more time with students and classroom instruction. I've never looked back.
Oh, yes. And as I'm sure you've gathered from some of the graphics, I am an avid "Simpsons" fan. Suppose that's what I might look like if I ever made it onto the show.
Currently I'm teaching multiple sections of Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101), the Introduction To Psychology Lab (PSY 102), and Introduction to Statistics (PSY 230/231). I teach at both the Red Mountain and Southern & Dobson campuses, as well as online.
Other classes that I teach (or have taught) include: Tests and Measurements (PSY 271) and Educational Psychology (PSY 210). Additionally, I serve as one of the Service Learning Advisors (PSY 282) for my department.
If you would like to know more about these courses, feel free to check out the pages at: www.derekborman.com.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "The last one to know that it's wet is the fish?" What??? Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If the fish has spent its entire life under water, the only thing that it knows is "wet." It doesn't know what "dry" feels like. And without another experience to compare and contrast with its own, the fish doesn't really understand wet, it only understands what has always been...what is its current state. Only when the fish jumps out of the bowl can it truly appreciate the place from which it came.
Very few of us have the opportunity to "jump out of the bowl." That is, consider other perspectives, and compare and contrast those with our own. Most of us, myself included, do not find this an easy path. We've lived a long time on this Earth and have developed and even hard-wired certain beliefs, behaviors and emotions into our daily psychological experiences. We unconsciously find these patterns comforting. But patterns of existence have built in biases.
Part of the challenge of psychological science is to use our understanding of the world to connect with important psychological theories, BUT THEN move beyond our assumptions and prejudices so that we can ask important questions about human behavior. That's not an easy thing to do.
To move toward a more objective view of human beings and ourselves, we will consider such questions as: Why do children acquire languages so much more easily than adults? How are severe mental disorders diagnosed? Why are phone numbers seven digits long? How does mass media impact our thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Are we really better at multi-tasking in the technology age or are we just fooling ourselves? What is "post-traumatic stress disorder" and how does it impact the post-war lives of soldiers? Can one really become "addicted" to video games or online social networks? Why is it that people with "hostile" personalities may be seven times more likely to die from a heart attack?
As we answer these and other questions, we will analyze the very essence of what it means to be human. This is an opportunity for us to grow and see ourselves and the world around us with fresh eyes. In other words, I'm inviting you to jump out of the bowl. One thought that I always want you to keep in mind is this: Psychology is everywhere and it happens quickly. If you don't stop, look and listen...you might just miss it! Let's get to it!
This syllabus comprises classroom policies, expectations and instructor's philosophy. It's important that you read through these sections and understand them.
This course is divided up into six modules. Each of the modules comprises one or two chapters from the textbook. We will cover 12 chapters in this course. Canvas activities are divided similarly, with chapters located in specific modules.
Module 1: History and Science of Psychology
Module 2: Lifespan Development & Social Behavior
Module 3: Biology of Behavior & Cognition
Module 4: Learning & Memory
Module 5: Motivation and Emotion & Personality
Module 6: Psychological Disorders & Treatments
For each module, you will be responsible for completing:
Nongraded learning/preparation activities include chapter readings, viewing lecture videos, responding to exam review sheet items.
There are graded and non-graded activities for each module in this course. Activities correspond with the chapter content being covered. The following comprise the graded activities that are required for successful completion of this course:
Very few people can do well in this class without studying and responding to the items comprising the module review sheets!!
Study Tip: Study Exam Reviews closely before reading assigned chapters.
Though some activities in the class cannot really be graded, they are vital to your success in the course. Non-graded activities that you will complete are listed below:
I reserve the right to withdraw you from the course if you fail to complete five or more assignments.
The total number of points possible in this class will vary depending on which semester you are enrolled. For the Fall and Spring Semesters, there are 680 points possible. These point totals may change slightly. Here is how the total points are expected to break down:**
Grading will be based on a percentage of total possible points, according to the following scale:
A = 90% +
B = 80 - 89%
C = 70 - 79%
D = 60 - 69%
F = Below 60%
Assignments submitted after due dates/times indicated in the course calendar will receive 0 points. You may petition to receive points for late work, provided you have an acceptable excuse. Definitions and procedures for requesting late-work credit are outlined in the next section.
**As the instructor, I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus as I see fit. Such changes would likely affect the point structure of the class. Should such changes occur, the nature of such changes will be described in detail.
I reserve the right to withdraw you from the course if you fail to complete five or more assignments.
Acceptable Excuses for Making Up Work Without Penalty
No other excuse is acceptable for missed/late submission of assignment/discussion work. No exceptions. I understand that other important, significant events can keep you from on-time, schoolwork submission. I encourage you to earn Personal Development points to make up for points missed due to unexcused submission failures. See later section in this syllabus.
Maximum Number of Undocumented Late Assignments Submitted: 2
You may turn in two late assignments during the semester, if your excuse(s) for late submissions fall(s) within the list of acceptable excuses. In order for me to accept late work, you must submit an email as per the specific instructions in the following section. I must receive this email withn one week of the deadline for the missed work. For your first two late work requests, I require only the email. No other formal documentation/evidence supporting your late work needs to be submitted.
Required Documentation/Evidence For Acceptable Excuse Requiring Late Submission of Three to Five Assignments
If your requests for late work exceed two assignments, then you must submit formal documentation/evidence, as described below.
NOTE: A maximum of five late assignments is allowed for the semester.
Notification/Request Within One Week
Email requesting late work submission for acceptable excuse (see previous section of this syllabus) must be received by instructor, no later than one week after the missed-work, due date. Failure to submit your request within one week of the missed-work, due date negates your submission of excused, late work for this event. No exceptions.
In Your Notification/ Request Email
Failure to provide all of the above information in your notification/request email negates your submission of excused, late work for this event. No exceptions.
Submission of Documentation/Evidence Within Two Weeks
As stated in previous section, formal documentation/evidence is required if acceptable excuse involves missed work for more than one week. Digital submission of documentation/evidence via email must be submitted within two weeks of the missed work, due date. Failure to submit digital documentation/evidence within two weeks negates your submission of all excused, late work for this event. No exceptions.
For any missed work, you will have two weeks beyond the calendar due date of the last assignment missed (so long as it does not go beyond the final day of class) to complete and submit your work.
Please note that late work will not be accepted after the last day of class.
I have this grand, crazy idea that I can deliver your textbook content for free. So, what I've been doing is borrowing open content from Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning (Links to an external site.) , introductory psychology eBook. I've been adapting, re-arranging and adding my own content, where necessary. Currently I don't have all of the chapters adapted and customized. Has taken a lot more work than I thought it would. Big surprise...right! Anyhow, we'll use the customized chapters that have been completed. For incomplete chapters, you will find links to pdf files. Click this image to go to the homepage for our eBook. Be sure to bookmark it. http://www.derekborman.com/101/ebook/index.html
IMPORTANT! Because of some of the content I use, the course eBook is password protected. You should have no problem accessing the book with the access information listed below:
I'm designing this eBook so that it will look and feel fantastic on phones and tablets. For the most part, you should have a pretty good user experience on mobile devices. However, please keep in mind that Flash content will not work on your phone or tablet unless you access your web content using third party iOS or Android software. All interactive Flash animations should play just fine on a desktop computer.
Because this is an internet-based course, we don't meet face-to-face. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of taking a course through the internet. The instructor isn't there every few days to prompt you and remind you of what you need to do. On the other hand, this format is also one of the biggest benefits to internet learning. You can take your learning in directions that might not avail themselves in a more traditional ground course. What did that poet say? Something like, "Two roads diverged in a wood..." I forget the rest. :-)The key to succeeding in this course is completing the review sheets each exam. Study Exam Reviews closely BEFORE READING THE CHAPTERS.
Internet courses can be a little difficult because you don't have an instructor with whom you have consistent, face-to-face interaction to ensure that you're caught up with the calendar. In this class, you will not only want to be caught up, but you will want to be thinking ahead. Late work will not be accepted unless excuse for missed work is acceptable and proper notification/documentation steps are followed. See earlier section on Missed Work for more details.
If due dates or other class-related activities are altered, you will be notified via class announcement, as quickly as possible.
As the instructor, I reserve the right to make such changes, so long as I believe they are in the best interests of the class.
It is your responsibility to check the course calendar and announcements at least every other day. Consider this a requirement of the class. If something is listed in the calendar or information is sent out through a course announcement, then you are responsible for understanding and acting accordingly. If you wish to know more about a change to the course calendar or a class policy, it is your responsibility to contact me with your concerns/questions within a few days. If I do not receive your concerns/questions about course calendar/policy changes within a few days of such changes, I will proceed with the assumption that you understand such changes and are acting accordingly.
I read my e-mail daily during the week and will answer questions as quickly as I can. To facilitate quick responses, list "Question" or "Help" in the subject line of your e-mail.
On weekends, I don't check email nearly as much, unless we've reached an exam deadline. So, if you send an email on Saturday or Sunday, chances are that you won't receive a reply until Monday.
Exams will automatically grade when you submit them. You will be able to double-check your grade through your Canvas gradebook.
PsychSim worksheets and discussion boards will be graded within one week of submission. Grades will be posted in the Canvas gradebook.
Materials for this course include text as well as multimedia. For the most part, text is presented via webpage, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, and Shockwave/Flash. Most computer systems, nowadays, can handle such needs, right out of the box.
Mobile Devices: For those who wish to access the course content via mobile device, you will be able to access some but not all of the content using your device's native web browser. To view all content on the site, you will need to download another web browser app like Photon, which can be used to view and interact with Flash-based content.
This course requires more than just navigating from one website to another. As would be the case with any online course, you may run into technology-based problems that require some creative problem solving on your part. I hope that you're up for the task.
I reserve the right to withdraw you from the course if you fail to complete five or more assignments. So Keep up with the work. If you're struggling, let me know so that we can work together on "getting you back in the game."
Nonetheless, do not count on me to automatically drop you from the course if you discontinue completing course requirements. If you do wish to withdraw from the course, you must initiate this process. After a certain date in the semester, you will not be able to withdraw yourself, but must have me take care of this.
A failing grade may be assigned if you do not officially withdraw and / or if I have not been notified of your intention to withdraw.
First off, I use the term "exam," but Canvas calls these "quizzes."
Exams for Modules 1, 2 and 3 due at mid-point of semester. See course calendar for exact date.
Exams for Modules 4, 5, and 6 due at the end of the semester. See course calendar for exact date.
Exam details include:
Each module exam, will cover content only from that module. In other words, exams will not be cumulative. Exams will cover major topics from the chapters that we cover. I very rarely ask questions about names and dates. What is required on the test is your ability to APPLY the concepts from the chapters that we cover.
Your best guideline for exam preparation is to use the Exam Review study most closely the material related to the chapter objectives, though anything covered in the textbook may appear on the exam. You will need to move beyond a simple, definitional understanding of psychological concepts and into more of an applied understanding. Study Exam Reviews closely BEFORE READING THE CHAPTERS.
I'll be blunt. The exams are tough. I don't try to make difficult exams but there are a lot of concepts that you will have to understand. The exam questions focus on your ability to apply your understanding of psychological principles. This means that you will have to be able to do more than repeat definitions. Here is what you need to do:
Online discussions will take place, frequently. The topic to be discussed will be posted in the instructions for each discussion board in Canvas. For each discussion board, you will be required to submit one lengthier POST and two shorter REPLIES.
For each discussion, you will be arguing for or against a topic. Your post will be your argument. Your post should comprise well-articulated and organized sentences comprising convincing and cohesive arguments. Your arguments will be based on both theory (concepts from the ebook) and concrete, specific examples.
You will begin the discussion with 6 post points. If there are problems in the following areas, I will begin to take points away. In my grading of your post, I will refer to the following grading criteria:
*Next to each of the three, specific concepts, I want you to type "[CONCEPT]" so that I can quickly see which three, specific concepts from the current chapter you are applying.
*YOUR SELECTED CONCEPTS CAN BE BOLD-FACED TERMS OR LARGER THEMES FROM THE CHAPTER.
YOU ARE NOT to simply offer unsubstantiated opinions that you formulate as soon as you read the topic of the discussion.
Your replies will be less lengthy than your posts but will have more substance than simply agreeing with or complimenting someone. You are expected to reply to others with substance and thoughtfulness. You will begin with 4 points for replies. If there are problems in the following areas, I will begin to take points away. In my grading of your replies, I will refer to the following grading criteria:
To receive full credit for this Discussion Board: Your initial POST must be submitted by 11:59PM of the deadline listed in the calendar. You will then have through 11:59PM, a couple of days later, to submit at least two REPLIES. The quality that I expect in your posts and replies is outlined in the rubric below. Read it.
Respect the diversity of opinion expressed in our webboard discussions and do not level any personal attacks at others. Undoubtedly, there will be a discussion topic or two about which you feel particularly passionate. That's not a problem. I certainly hope that this is the case. However, as you examine yours and others' beliefs, make sure that you do so in light of psychological research. If we do this, then we should be able to challenge one another intellectually, without becoming personally offensive.
The post below is a response to a recent news article about the use of a paddle to physically punish and change student behavior at an elementary school. I consider this post to be an excellent one. It has a good title. The writing mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation) are solid. Organization (author broke thoughts down into separate paragraphs) is good. Three chapter concepts (bold-faced words) are identified and effectively applied (specific, concrete examples tied to theory) as the author makes a theory-based argument for a particular position. There is strong evidence of original insight and critical thinking.
Review this example, from time to time, to remind yourself of what I am looking for in your discussion posts.
MORE TINY SOCIOPATHS
Though the improvements of this school may look good on paper, the behavioral changes inspired by the threat of extrinsic corporal punishment cannot be other than superficial. Though an effective deterrent it may be, paddling does nothing to create a moral sense in the children of what is right, what is wrong, and why.
[CONCEPT] Operant conditioning (learning that occurs on the bases of the consequences of behavior and can involve the learning of new behaviors) only teaches us that when we punch that kid on the playground, we are going to get paddled. It doesn't teach us an alternate, more desirable behavior. For example, Peele punched Keegan because he was teasing him. But instead of receiving a paddling, Peele is given a time-out, during which he participates in a role play of a similar teasing situation. His teacher coaches him about what to do, say and how to say it ("Stop teasing me. You don't need to say those things."). Perhaps Peele is coached on how to avoid getting angry (Take big breaths. Smile. Turn around and leave. Find a teacher.), because this reaction will likely reinforce Keegan's teasing. Providing additional practice and instruction in desirable, alternative behaviors is a better way to correct behavior.
Additionally, spanking can easily undermine trust in authority figures in the sensitive child. Not to mention that it sends the message to children that their bodies are not their own dominions that deserve respect, leaving them vulnerable to lifelong shame, low self-esteem, and other psychological issues. [CONCEPT] Generalization (the tendency to respond to stimuli that resemble the original conditioned stimulus) may further complicate things. The child who receives a paddling for cursing in her history class, might begin to generalize this negative experience to other learning situations. Perhaps the child starts acting out in different classes (cursing, failing to complete homework, etc.) as a way of dealing with the embarrassment of the paddling.
As the book states, the problem with always resorting to one type of punishment (in this case physical), violates an important rule of effective punishment [CONCEPT] – effective punishment should be contextual. In other words, the punishment should "fit the crime." Paddling doesn't always (if ever) do that. For example, if a child steals a calculator from a classmate, the child should: 1) return the calculator 2) have something of similar value taken from him/her--even if temporarily, and 3) be required to spend a detention period writing about how the other student might feel when the calculator was stolen. This process encourages ownership of behaviors, understanding the value of things and taking another's perspective (empathy).
Contextualizing punishment isn’t easy, but I think with a little creativity and education there is ALWAYS an alternative to hitting or spanking. Some creative alternatives can be found at: http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/22_alternatives.html. This school should come up with a superior alternative to improve student behavior that respects their bodies and minds or shut down.
PsychSim simulation activities will not open on native mobile (phone or tablet) browsers. To view on mobile device, download and install a mobile browser that will handle Flash content. Then, access PsychSim using your new mobile-device, browser. Otherwise, use a desktop computer.
Tech Tip for Canvas Issues: If PsychSim activity will not open when link is selected in Canvas, copy and paste the PsychSim link into a new browser window or tab. Then, run activity from there.
Links to PsychSim Activities are located in the calendar and modules.
Learning doesn't happen by memorizing dates and facts. Learning happens when you recognize, extend and connect the information to which you are exposed. Multimedia PsychSim activities linked below will help you do just that. PsychSim is a collection of interactive, graphic computer programs designed to enhance learning in a timely fashion, thorough participation and demonstration.
PsychSim Activities will consist of you respond to worksheet items that correspond with a specific online, interactive simulation. Play the video to see a walk through on this topic.
Only worksheets submitted via the Canvas Assignments (by the deadline) will be counted toward your grade.
Please remember that the due dates are listed at the beginning of each chapter activity and in the Canvas course calendar. Due times for submission are always 11:59PM.
For the most part, I will be grading your PsychSim worksheets for "completeness." If there is a PsychSim activity that you don't understand, you should still do your best to fill out the corresponding worksheet. Send an email to me and I'll do my best to help you understand a concept with which you're struggling.
Each PsychSim worksheet that you submit is worth a possible 10 POINTS.
Please note: Unfortunately, the Internet is not a perfect medium. Retain copies of everything that you send me, just in case you need to re-send something or prove later in the semester that you had completed an assignment for which you were not credited in the grade book.
Each Application Project is associated with a specific module. These projects are designed for application and deeper understanding of important psychological principles studied in these modules.
Requirement: Details provided in project descriptions above.
Submission: Papers will be submitted as email attachments via Canvas email. More detail is provided in the project descriptions above.
Points: Possible 15 points per application project/paper. Grading criteria are listed in the project descriptions above.
Due: End of semester. Specific deadline listed in the course calendar.
An article in a recent edition of the American Psychological Association's Monitor questioned whether all of our social networking is making us more narcissistic. To this I say..."DUH!!" Just kidding. Actually it's complicated. Professionally speaking, I don't believe that this is the case. However, all of this social networking is quite fun.
For this activity, I want you to make a video illustrating a particular psychology concept. To complete this activity, you will need to:
Not sure what to do? Check out this video made by a creative psychology student. Now, if that's not inspirational, I don't know what is.
Requirement: Your video must creatively teach about one or more psychology concepts from class. What the video contains is up to you. I'm excited to see what you put together.
Submission: Once you have uploaded your video, send an email to me. The email should contain the direct link (URL address) to your video.
Points: 5 to 10 points--depending on the length and quality of the video.
Due: See course calendar
**Please keep in mind that I would like to use these videos in our modules. Individuals appearing in your video(s) should be made aware that your video may be used for such purposes.
Three times, each Fall and Spring semester, the Department of Psychological Science and Psi Beta host an Evening Lecture. These lectures take participants deep into some fascinating areas of psychology, including forensics, human sexuality, and therapeutic issues. And these lectures aren't just for students. Invite your friends! Bring a date! I'll always do my best to let you know when we have an upcoming lecture. I'll do this through the Canvas Announcements. I'll also try to post lectures on the course calendar.
In order to receive receive points for this Personal Development activity, you will need to attend the lecture, put your name on the sign in sheet at the event, and submit the following in a two-paged, double-spaced reflection paper:
Requirement: Attendance and paper submission, as described above.
Submission: Through Canvas Personal Development Assignment or via Canvas Conversation.
Points: 5 to 15 points--depending on quality of paper, including writing mechanics.
Due: Within one week of attending the lecture.
Learning Enhancement Center
Many students find that college coursework provides new academic challenges. Students who wish to deepen their understanding of course concepts, extend their skills, and improve their performance in their course(s) are encouraged to use the free tutoring and other support services in the Learning Enhancement Center. Tutoring is available at 10 campus locations (including two at Red Mountain). Visit or call the LEC office to learn how they can help you. It is located on the 1st floor of the Elsner Library.
Phone: 480.461.7678 Red Mountain: 480.654.7735
The Writing Center provides one-on-one appointments to help students during any phase of the writing process: brainstorming, prewriting, researching, drafting, and revising. The Writing Center is located on the 1st floor of the Elsner Library. Phone: 480.461.7513.
*Note: use the tutoring information that is relevant to your course/campus.
Information for Students with Accommodation Needs: If you have a documented disability (as protected by the Americans with Disability Act) or if you are pregnant or parenting (as protected under Title IX) and would like to discuss possible accommodations, please contact the MCC Disabilities Resources and Services Office at 480-461-7447 or email email@example.com.
Access to Course Materials: If you are experiencing difficulty accessing course materials because of a disability please contact your instructor. All students should have equal access to course materials and technology.
Please request your accommodations through the MCC Disabilities Resources and Services Office at 480-461-7447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Alert (EARS)
Mesa Community College is committed to the success of all our students. MCC has adopted an Early Alert Referral System (EARS) to aid students in their educational pursuits. Faculty and Staff participate by referring students to campus services for added support. Students may receive a follow up call from various campus services as a result of being referred to EARS. Students are encouraged to participate, but these services are optional.
It is your responsibility to understand the policies listed in this syllabus as these are the guidelines that your instructor will follow for grading, attendance, etc. It is also your responsibility to read and understand the college policies included in the student handbook as they may apply to you in the case of an incomplete grade, withdraw for failure to attend, etc.
Students who officially withdraw from credit classes (in fall, spring, or summer) within the withdrawal deadlines listed below will receive a 100% refund for tuition, class and registration processing fees. Deadlines that fall on a weekend or a college holiday will advance to the next college workday except for classes fewer than 10 calendar days in length or as specified by the college. Calendar days include weekdays and weekends. Refer to individual colleges for withdrawal and refund processes. Never attending is not an allowable refund exemption or an excuse of the debt incurred through registration.
Length of Class
Official Withdrawal Deadlines for 100% Refund
1-9 calendar days
Prior to the class start date
10-19 calendar days
1 calendar day including the class start date
20-29 calendar days
2 calendar days including the class start date
30-39 calendar days
3 calendar days including the class start date
40-49 calendar days
4 calendar days including the class start date
50-59 calendar days
5 calendar days including the class start date
60-69 calendar days
6 calendar days including the class start date
70+ calendar days
7 calendar days including the class start date
*Course fees and registration processing fees will be refunded only if the student qualifies for a 100% refund. Debts owed to any MCCCD college must be satisfied before any refunds are paid to the student. Refunds for students receiving federal financial assistance are subject to federal guidelines. Requests for exceptions to the refund policy must be filed within one year from the semester in which the course was taken.